Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Great souvenir, sells fast!

Now this thing sell like filter coffee!
The coffee dabara ( or its is dawara?) as a souvenir was a great idea and we introduced it some years ago at the Fest. 100 sets vanished midway through Day 3 and we ordered more from our source in China Bazaar in the city. They too sold fast - but without the Festival logo ( there was no time to etch it!).

We have ordered for these brass dabaras all over again and hope they will arrive on time to be sold at the Souvenirs counter ( opp. RASI store).

Challenges of holding a street festival

Holding a street fest challenges you - the civic conditions make you go crazy.
Imagine our team's plight this year - at every corner a civic contractor who was supposed to lay wide pavements and relay the mada streets has dumped and abandoned ( for now ) hundreds of these stones - they make for garbage dumps for people with no civic sense.
We are now employing civic workers to clean up the two main Festival venues. 
At street corners are dusty autos and mini vans which were sunk in the city floods - dumped like waste. We have top clear them too.
And as local resident V P Narasimhan keeps complaining - the nook off the chariot shed is a open air urinal - who is to clean up? We do for the Fest. Its a hard job. 
And yet, we love Sannidhi Street Square - outside the eastern temple gopuram. Great space for open-air recitals of any kind - folk, classical, dance, music . . 

It is a chaotic parking lot. Wish we can create a better space here.

Gracious hosts, this girls school . . .

The Trust and the school heads at Lady Sivaswamy Ayyar Girls School have always been gracious hosts - we turn to them to hire the main hall to host games contests/ workshops.
The old-time flavored hall is just the place for such events. Though it reverberates with chatter and laughs when the contestants go at the pallankuzhi and dayakattam games.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tips for young cyclists keen to explore a bit of Mylapore!

Here are few tips for teenagers who wish to join long-distance cyclist Ramanujar Moulana on the Sunday ( January 10 morning) 'Explore Mylapore on Cycles' tour.
# Bring your own cycles - they can be of any make!
# Please wear a helmet - it is good to own one!
# Carry hydration (water)
# Parents can accompany their kids - ride their own cycles!
# Assemble at start point (Rasi Silks gate) by 6.45am

# For any queries call Ramanujar : 9884023123

The artists who will exhibit small works

This is a small group. And has grown organically in this city.
Chennai Weekend Artists is of a dozen plus active artists who meet every Sunday at a pre decided place to sketch, paint or illustrate.
They have a few favorite hangouts - Semmozhi Poonga and Mylapore - though they have also explored a British era cemetery and Kasimedu fishing harbor.

CWA artists have been invited to put up their art works for an exhibition at the Fest - in the open, alongside the 16-pillared mantap outside Sri Kapali Temple. 
Photo featured here was borrowed from the CWA's FB page; it was shot at the group's recent art meet in Mylapore.

City deluge has not discouraged this dance troupe; it will perform at the Fest

If there is one group which will be at the Fest after a big hit from the deluge that sank our city in early December, it is that of dancer and guru Divya Sena.
Divya has her dance studio in West Mambalam; she was devastated to find mridangams, photo albums, song books, CDs and dance accessories had been damaged or washed away after the floodwaters ran into her academy premises.
This though has not stopped her and her dancers from continuing dance practice and the group has already staged a few dance productions this December Season.

Divya brings her well- executed 'Sri Andal Vaibhavam' to the Fest at the open air Main Stage on January 8 evening. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Mylapore specials to take home or gift

Ranjani Chandran is working the extra hours this Christmas hol to make sure the small creative souvenirs she is doing for the Fest get to us on time.

Key chains, danglers and a surprise product will be on sale as Fest Souvenirs.

Ranjani is based in Adyar. 'Craving to Create' is her banner. And she is an online creative entrepreneur.
It is her 'madness for Mylapore' that got her hooked her on to this souvenir proposal.

Featured here is a sampler of what Ranjani has done for you and me.

On sale at the Fest Info counter opposite Rasi Store. 6 to 9.30 pm on all four evenings. 

Food Walks / Now where is Gomathi Saiva Unavagam?

Foodie and Food Walk pioneer Sridhar Venkataraman is very serious about curating Food Walks - he researches well and his recce is done over time. So when the info on a  Walk is out, Sridhar posts a map marking the walk route and the spots where food will be tasted.
The map allows those who cannot join him to DIY alone or in groups!

Sridhar is hosting two Walks this Festival.
On Jan 8 and 9. More info at

Featured here is a picture of Gomathi Saiva Unnavagam - don't ask us for an address. You just have to ask residents of Mandaveli Street for directions.

Tiffin in the evening gets over by 5.30 p.m. Thats why the early start to the Walk, says Sridhar.

Less-known tales of Mylapore. On this Walk.

The Walks were the first set of events that fell into place.
That is because the people who know their patch are ever willing to curate and lead a Walk.

Passionate historian Venkatesh Ramakrishnan ( the author of the book - Gods, Kings & Slaves - Siege of Madurai - who lives in Mylapore was too happy to curate his own tour of Mylapore.

The day his Walk was posted there were dozens of people who promised to be there that Sunday ( Jan 10, 7 am). Start point - main gate of Nageswara Rao Park. Free.

Ramki says he hopes to share lots of less-known tales of the Mylapore he knows.

Alive a tad late! For 2016!!

We are bringing this Blog alive rather late. Just 10 days before the 2016 edition of the Festival takes off.

This edition of the Festival has been scaled down after the deluge that hit this city. We felt it was just not right to make a big song and dance about a street festival - though Mylapore was safe and dry during the deluge days.

So, this year we have the Main Stage performance events on all evenings, the traditional games contests indoors - for adults and for kids - and the popular kolam contests on North Mada Street.

With us, as always is Sundaram Finance, our sole sponsor.